I was reading the McLeans review of the MBA programs offered in Canada.  It took me back to an early time in my working life.

In 1971 I graduated from Engineering and started work with General Electric.  By the summer of 1972  I was working in the sales group for the Heavy Electrical Machinery office in Scarborough (these were the big turbines, electric motors and other equipment used in major power plants).  I was an inside support for the sales engineers that were supplying the major growth in the Hydro companies at the time.  There were about 6 young engineering guys (and one engineering gal) in the same support position.  We all became close friends and partied together even though only a few of us were married and Pat and I were the only ones with kids.  A very satisfying and happy time in our lives.

In the spring of 1973 one of my compatriots (Joel Liederman) bragged that he had taken the SSAT test to get into the MBA program at York.  At this time no one knew of the MBA except for some stories about Harvard MBAs becoming vice presidents of corporations.  I remember coming home to Pat and saying I cannot fall behind Joel.  Even in an office environment there is a sense of competition.

I had no idea why I would want an MBA but I could not let others get ahead of me so I paid the money and one Saturday took the SSAT.  Turns out I was a pretty bright guy and when the results were published I had the score that would immediately get me into the MBA program which at the time required that you had a degree and at minimum 2 years working in a professional position and a high SSAT.  Joel signed up for courses so I did as well.  Fortunately GE agreed to pay our tuitions because Pat and I had just had Andra and did not have a lot of spare money.  Pat made the commitment to cover for me in the family (putting kids to bed, cleaning up etc)

So in the fall of 1973 I started taking classes 2 -3 nights a week plus Saturday.  2 subjects in the fall, 2 in the spring and 1 in the summer.  I remember these years as little spare time but Pat took up the slack and we got by.

Irony is that Joel quit after a year because of the workload.  (I say workload because intellectually, Engineering is more difficult, but the MBA was about beating you down with reading and projects)

In January 1977 I took a 4 month leave of absence from GE to get this over and went full time to school.  Pat carried our entire financial needs during this period so we did not have a lot of luxury.  But we graduated ( say we because I credit Pat as much as me)  in May and I started back in a new position with GE with a slight increase in pay.

I only bring this story up because I read in McLeans that the program that I took at what is now known as Schulich Business School now costs $115,000.   I just wonder if my company would have agreed to this or, if I at the age of 25 with 2 kids, would we even have ventured on this path.

The MBA did eventually get me an interview with Gulf Canada for which I am eternally grateful, and it makes a nice framed diploma on the wall in my workshop.  Still not sure I would spend $115,000 on it.